Mitochondria, as they are defined in textbooks, are essential for eukaryotic cells--including our own--because they make large amounts of energy as they use oxygen. However, some eukaryotic cells, including important parasites of humans--such as Entamoeba histolytica, the causal agent of amoebic dysentery--live in environments that are too oxygen poor to support this process. Nevertheless, Entamoeba still contains a somewhat mysterious organelle, called a mitosome, that is evolutionarily derived from mitochondria. As reported by researchers this week, the mitosome can represent a surprisingly pared-down version of the much more sophisticated mitochondrion.
In their new work on the mitosome, a team led by Edmund Kunji at the MRC Dunn Unit, Jorge Tovar at the Royal Holloway University, and Martin Embley at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne provide intriguing clues to the function of this enigmatic organelle. They show that the mitosome contains a single type of a protein, called a mitochondrial carrier, that in human mitochondria exists in many different specialized versions. In humans, these diverse carriers are needed to import and export the varied chemicals required, or produced, by our complex mitochondria. The presence of a single carrier in the Entamoeba mitosome means that it must be able to do far fewer jobs than our own mitochondria.
Further experiments performed by the team reveal that the Entamoeba carrier can only transport ADP and ATP, suggesting that it could fuel energy-requiring reactions within the mitosome but might not perform other functions. The work suggests that the Entamoeba mitosome may represent the simplest mitochondrion yet described, and thus it provides a model system for probing which mitochondrial functions are truly essential for eukaryotic cells.
Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover
First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
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Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
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